Ok, I'm confused and have been for the past month of being introduced to the touring side of bicycling. I'm guessing that the longtime tourers understand the reasons but I still don't understand.
In reading the articles, blogs, discussion groups it seems there is a consensus for most people in what are a good gearing ratios for touring bikes. -- small chain ring at 24 or 22 and --largest cassette at 34-36.
But in my reading and learning about touring bike being sold, i.e. LHT, 520, Kona, Randonee, Fuji, and so on, (I did not look at high end or custom bikes) I have not seen one bike that comes with such gearing as standard.
My question is --what is the reasoning behind the difference between what people seem to be using and what bike manufacturers are offering. If seems like it would be a big selling point to offer tour ready bikes??
A few things come to mind.
First not everyone agrees that gearing quite that low is necessary. Many are fine with a 26-30 T granny ring and a 28-32 largest cog even for mountain touring. Also not everyone who tours rides in the mountains.
Second, a lot of "touring bikes" never actually tour. They get used for general riding around town, commuting, or whatever.
Third, as was said already they get what the component manufacturer sells as a group or at least recommends to be used together.
And fourth, I suspect that like so many gear choices what folks talk about on these and other online groups isn't necessarily what you will find everyone using on tour.